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Every RPM Canadian Content #1 single discussion thread 1964-2000

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bunglejerry, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    A slight diversion...I posted what were the second and third singles released on Vancouver's Mushroom Records, "I Believe" by Songbird and "Love Will Get You" by Jayson Hoover. So what was first? "Hands Across The Dining Room Table" b/w "Do As You Will" by Alexis Rose Radlin.



    B-side
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G53Q9jOX3Eg

    [​IMG]

    Her second single, and Mushroom's fourth, was "Everybody Knows" b/w "Canada You're A Lady"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0BJjNHlTHw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofZY5tDlMrM

    She also had the first album released by Mushroom, Alexis

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Alexis Radlin was from Windsor, she moved West to start her musical career. Her LP featured many of Vancouver's top studio talents: Steve Douglas (producer), Mike Flicker (engineer), Howard Leese, Robbie King, Duris Maxwell, Kat Hendriske, Doug Edwards and top Americans like Billy Strange, Hal Blaine and Al Casey. Her touring band consisted of Jerry Doucette, Tom Lavin, Maxwell and Les Law (Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck). A negative review of the album in the May 16, 1975 Vancouver Sun noted:
    Radlin would release one more LP, also titled Alexis, on Radio Canada International in 1978.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    Some artists manage to alienate both their band musicians and their record company. It seems our local Alexis Radlin can't walk twenty feet without stepping on as many toes.
    Wow a seriously rude review. Actually sounds like the reviewer had a personal grudge.
     
    bekayne likes this.
  3. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    154. ROCK ME GENTLY, PART 1
    by ANDY KIM
    ICE IC. 1
    Highest ranking for 1 week: September 21 (1), 1974




    [​IMG]
    Over a decade removed from his first 7" single release, Andy Kim's career had ground to a halt. After Jeff Barry's Steed Records closed up shop, he signed to Uni Records for a one-album contract that yielded no hits (except in Canada). When that contract expired, he found himself with no label at all. "I never mentally admitted defeat in spite of those three years off the charts," he said. And he proved it here, by ponying up the cash for the studio session (and expensive studio players) that produced this song and by co-founding (with his brother Joe Joachim) his very own label, Ice Records, to put the song out there.

    It's a truly remarkable story, though I want to voice my confusion at this point. During his teen-singing days, Kim was of course based in New York. For his Uni contract, he followed his ex-boss Barry to Los Angeles, and "Rock Me Gently" was also recorded in Los Angeles. I would presume that L.A. is where Kim was living at this point, but all indications are that Ice Records was entirely a Canadian entity. Ice Records would release all of his material north of the border for the next ten years (under any of several pseudonyms), while the material would appear in the USA and internationally under licence to other labels or, most frequently, not at all. I wonder why this was the case.

    While the instrumentation and the sound design indicates that half a decade has gone by, the song's melody and overall composition, to say nothing of Kim's voice as well (though mercifully playing at the correct speed), is very much in the vein of the bubblegum music with which Kim made his name as a teenage assistant to Jeff Barry in New York. The main reason that the song is adult contemporary now is that 1968's teenagers were now 1974's young adults. The navel-gazing of Kim's Uni Records phase is conspicuous in its absence here. Kim is not contemplating the existence of God here; he's merely singing a catchy song.

    There is only one song on the single. The story goes that Kim only had enough money to finance a single song in the studio, putting an instrumental version on the b-side. While the b-side, oddly identified as "part II" like it's a James Brown single or something, does indeed strip out Kim's vocals to replace them with a farting synthesiser line, it's not accurate to describe the result as an "instrumental", since the background vocalists are still there, performing the entirety of the chorus. It's interesting, then, that when Capitol got involved, putting the song out in the USA and a range of other countries as well, they kept the original b-side. It even appeared on his sole Capitol Records album, his second in a row to be named Andy Kim (it came out in Canada on Ice).

    How, then, did Capitol get involved? Apparently, it's as simple as this: Capitol heard the song, were impressed, and inked a deal with Kim to release the song outside of Canada. It wound up hitting number one on Billboard one week after it did on RPM, the fourth of five Canadian number-ones in the USA. Only two songs spent a week each at number one on Billboard between Paul Anka and Andy Kim: Eric Clapton and Barry White.

    Incidentally, it's interesting that the only week that "Rock Me Gently" was the highest-ranking Canadian song on the RPM 100 was the week that it was at number one (incredibly, its 18th week on the chart). The week before (September 14), it sat at number three behind "I Shot the Sheriff" and "(You're) Having My Baby", while the week after (September 28), it dropped precipitously from number 1 to number 9, supplanted by the song we'll be talking about tomorrow.

    The label of the Ice issue of the Andy Kim album indicated that it was distributed by London Records. The singles from that album were as well (Joe wasn't really travelling across the country with a stack of seven-inches in his trunk), but there's no indication of such on the label itself. It's RPM's coding system that makes it clear. It's interesting that there are two songs in 1974 that fit this description: "the first single released by a certain Canadian artist on his own record label distributed by London, picked up in the USA by a major and taken to number one on Billboard."

    The power of Capitol, and the power of a number one on Billboard, got this song released in all kinds of places: Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, the UK, the USA, and of course Canada - the only indie release. Eight picture sleeves below. It's interesting that in the Netherlands (and Spain as well, though there's no decent image of it), the Capitol release was illustrated with an image from the cover of an album that was released on an entirely different label.

    SUR LES PALMARÈS DU QUÉBEC: And the wheel keeps on turning... while preparing my marathon write-up of "Seasons in the Sun", I was unaware of this further level of ridiculousness... instead of merely covering Brel, Jacques Amar has taken a French song translated into English... and translated it back to French! The end result is "Adieu la vie, adieu soleil", sonically a straight imitation of Terry Jacks (key changes and all).

    It was followed by Jacques Boulanger of Montréal, who apparently sometimes released material under the name "Bou Bou", with a countryish take on "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" entitled "On a tous besoin d'un grand amour". It was followed by the slightly hokey but well-meaning "Winnipeg" by Pierre Lalonde. These songs each managed only one week at the top.

    Two weeks at the top is Ginette Reno, singing in her mother tongue, with "Des croissants de soleil", a cutesy song that has over a million views on Youtube (astronomical numbers for 45-year-old Québécois songs). It was followed by the quite enjoyable flute-led "Roméo et Julianne" (which Youtube insists I spelt wrong). Anderssen was French-born but took up residence in la Belle Province in 1970. Observing a trend here, it was followed by "Théo et Antoinette", an intriguing if lachrymose ditty by Jean-Pierre Manseau.

    Fully ten years before an English translation was deemed so annoying that it was actually banned by the BBC for annoyingness, Patrick Zabé gave the world his take on "Agadou dou dou", apparently an adaptation of a Moroccan song that in 1974 was used in ads for Club Med. 2.4 million masochists have used Youtube to get their fix of it.

    An all-star duo of Jean-Pierre Ferland and Ginette Reno hit the number one for five weeks with "T'es mon amour, t'es ma maîtresse", a song with pretty orchestration if little character. It was released in France with a picture sleeve depicting a drawing of a female form with a fleur-de-lis over its crotch. The last song we'll be looking at today is another duet, Nicole Martin and Jimmy Bond with "On est fait pour vivre ensemble", a rather repetitive mid-tempo song in 6/8.

    BELGIUM:

    [​IMG]

    FRANCE #1:

    [​IMG]

    FRANCE #2:

    [​IMG]

    GERMANY:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    ITALY:

    [​IMG]

    JAPAN:

    [​IMG]

    THE NETHERLANDS:

    [​IMG]

    PORTUGAL:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    I thought that Andy Kim had gone Neil Diamond. It sounds like a Neil song and production.
     
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  6. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    And here's the U.S. label for "Rock Me Gently":
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Paul C

    Paul C Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Two consecutive RPM #1 songs by Canadian sons of Lebanese immigrants (although Anka's father was actually born in Syria).

    Ownership of Andy Kim masters has always confused me. According to Pat Downey's information, "Rock Me Gently" has appeared on 48 different CDs issued in the U.S. (which suggests that Capitol owns it outright except perhaps in Canada), but none of his other hits have been issued on more than one (on a couple of long-out-of-print two-fers of the Steed albums issued by Collectors Choice). If Universal owned Kim's Steed masters outright, you would expect them to have released at least a couple of best-ofs by now. The most comprehensive Andy Kim anthology out there was released by Kim himself and appears to have been sold only at his concerts.
    Andy Kim – Limited Edition Anthology (2007, CD)
    My best guess is that with the exception of "Rock Me Gently", Kim retains at least some degree of control over his masters.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 11:49 AM
  8. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Yet another example of what I'm constantly harping on about: how poorly these Canadian artists are represented in the digital era. That CD is a curiosity, as "Sugar Sugar" and "Jingle Jangle" are on it. Are those really the Kirshner originals, with Ron Dante singing lead?

    Even at that, it's still a poor "career retrospective". With the exception of the two Archies songs and "Rock Me Gently", it's all Steed-era. Nothing from the Uni album and no Baron Longfellow material.

    Including his 2015 Arts & Crafts album, there's enough out there for a decent collection. I doubt it's licensing issues; I think it's just laziness and inertia. It's a pity.
     
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  9. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    Performance from European TV



    On Pop 74, whatever that is
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBBbyNpwOeI

    Music video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxYJqagN8jM

    The story of the song from Behind The Vinyl
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtCefKWsubI

    The album reached #21 on Billboard, in Canada it peaked at #13 in November of 1974 (15 weeks on the chart)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. bare trees

    bare trees Senior Member

    Long, Long Way : Very well written and arranged. I particularly love the guitar solo that seemingly comes out of nowhere about halfway through the song.

    Walk On : A great song about moving forward in the face of adversity. Supposedly inspired by Reprise's initial decision not to release Tonight's The Night, which had been recorded the year before.

    This Flight Tonight : I heard this long before I knew who Joni Mitchell was. As much as I have come to love Joni's version, this is the definitive version for me.

    Rock Me Gently : This song always puts me in good mood. It has strains of bubblegum, Adult Contemporary, and even some r&b during the instrumental break towards the end.
     
  11. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    At #94 for the first of two weeks the week of September 14, 1974, "Rock My Roll" b/w "Once Before You're Gone" by Bill Amesbury on Yorkville Records (Casablanca in the U.S.)



    It would be the last chart appearance for Amesbury. "Frogman Bradley" b/w "She's In Love" came out in the Netherlands with a picture sleeve, and the U.S.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXHPQUAylTE

    [​IMG]

    "Every Girl In The World, Tonight" came out on RCA Victor in August of 1975.

    Dutch picture sleeve

    [​IMG]

    Belgium

    [​IMG]

    Other singles would come out with picture sleeves in Europe:
    "Saturday Night" (Germany, Netherlands)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    "I Remember" (Netherlands)

    [​IMG]

    And "Sugar Pie" (Germany)

    [​IMG]

    All of the previous five singles would be on Amesbury's 1976 album Can You Feel It on Capitol in Canada (peaking at #57 for two weeks in July of 1976 during a nine week chart run).



    [​IMG]

    European cover on the Power Exchange label.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A final single "You Belong To Me" came out in 1977, though a song Amesbury produced would chart reach #1 in the U.K. in 1976, I'll be discussing that one later
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XoGlTiiLOU

    Amesbury is now Barbara Amesbury, a documentary filmmaker.
     
  13. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident



    A couple of years before Rock Me Gently, in an episode of Barnaby Jones that aired April 1, 1973, Andy Kim is featured as "Rick Michaels" doing his best Neil Diamond bit. I don't know the song he's singing. Anyone here?
     
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  14. John54

    John54 Senior Member

    Location:
    Burlington, ON
    That's a pretty nice song, but its melody obviously contains vast swaths of I'm Gonna Capture You. Since they were both written by Terry Jacks, you can't really accuse him of plagiarizing his own work ...
     
  15. John54

    John54 Senior Member

    Location:
    Burlington, ON
    Another one that I pretty much find intolerable by now.
     
  16. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    At #16 the week of September 21, 1974, "A Free Man In Paris" by Joni Mitchell, #10 on the Pop Music Playlist. #22 in Billboard, #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart



    Live in London (April 22, 1974)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqdAXfSDnww

    Live in 1979 Shadows And Light
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyOUk1q12O0

    Live in London again, this time in 1983
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hcXdtqojFg

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    B-side "People's Parties"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnIpj3klP6E

    Free Man in Paris - Wikipedia
    [​IMG]

    Joni Mitchell Library - Rock 'n' Roll's Leading Lady: Time (Magazine), December 16, 1974
    Joni Mitchell Library - An Evening Spent at Joni's: Time (Magazine), December 16, 1974
     
  17. bekayne

    bekayne Forum Resident

    At #75 the same week of September 21, "Cliches" b/w "Got You On My Mind Again" by Les Emmerson



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    He would chart once more as a solo artist.
     
  18. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    155. CLAP FOR THE WOLFMAN
    by THE GUESS WHO
    NIMBUS 9 APBO-0324
    Highest ranking for 3 non-consecutive weeks: September 28 (6), October 5 (4) and 19 (6), 1974




    [​IMG]
    Robert Weston Smith was inspired by controversial but seminal rock and roll DJ Alan Freed, who used the pseudonym "Moon Dog" at various points in his radio career. That pseudonym was, of course, inspired by the pseudonym of infamous New York City street busker Moondog. In any case, Smith took the canine moniker, mixed it with the persona of bluesman Howlin Wolf, and created the disc jockey character "Wolfman Jack", a character he would play for decades until his 1995 death. Smith entered legendary status when he went to work for XERF-AM in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico and, later, XERB-AM in Tijuana. The rough lawless equivalents of Pirate Radio stations in the waters around England at the time, Mexico-based "border blasters" were able to use that country's more lax radio regulation to blast radio far across the border to large portions of the continental USA (XERF could even be picked up in Europe and the Soviet Union).

    The general lawlessness of northern Mexico created problems for Smith, though, who wound up moving back to the United States to record his shows to tape, sending them across the border for broadcast. This technicality created a library of Wolman Jack's radio broadcasts, effectively creating the concept of syndicated radio. By 1973, when George Lucas's American Graffiti tacked his name permanently to 50s nostalgia, Wolfman Jack was a celebrity, both in the United States and also in Canada. He would, though this comes later in the story, host a television show on the CBC in 1976 and 1977, cementing a connection between Wolfman Jack and the third of the three NAFTA countries. Of course, Wolfman Jack's most important Canadian legacy was certainly his ability to inspire Canadian legends who should have known better to record terrible novelty records.

    As I mentioned while talking about "Star Baby", Burton Cummings has had a lifelong love of the music of the 1950s and early 1960s. He would, of course, be the perfect target audience for Wolfman Jack's retro broadcasts. The story of the song, such as it is, is that Cummings has taken his girl 'parking' only to find that she's much more into the DJ on the radio than she is into the man next to her. This story is punctuated with spoken-work outbursts from Wolfman Jack himself (who had a knack for vain self-promotion) and an earworm chorus entirely devoted to the DJ as opposed to the tale told in the verses. The song references early-sixties hits "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Duke of Earl" and, anachronistically, 1973's "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band.

    "Clap for the Wolfman" reached number four in Canada and number 6 in the USA, the last time the Guess Who would reach the top ten in either country. It was the last single released by the Kurt Winter and Donnie McDougall lineup, and in fact promotional TV appearances of the era show Domenic Troiano lip-syncing and miming Kurt Winter's guitar part as Winter's sudden exit occurred while the song was charting. In subsequent decades, Burton Cummngs has said that this particular lineup of the Guess Who, with Kurt Winter and Donnie McDougall, was his favourite lineup. It's curious, then, that little concrete explanation has ever been offered for Winter and McDougall's sudden departure beyond the notoriously vague "exhaustion". Both would come back into the fold in 1977, but since by that time Burton Cummings himself had left the band, the legitimacy of the material they recorded has been considered suspect by many.

    In any case, just as happened when Randy Bachman left the band, a replacement was procured and an album was recorded at breakneck speed. Consider this: "Clap for the Wolfman" was released in June (from an album that came out in April), Winter left the band in June, the single reached its peak in early October, and Troiano-led follow-up album Flavours and follow-up single "Dancin' Fool" were both released... also in October. That's not the recording date, that's the release date. It was apparently recorded in July, scant weeks after Winter left. And yet every single track on the album is credited as a Cummongs / Troiano composition.

    It's a fascinating story, and perhaps others will tell it in this thread, but alas I won't. After an amazing 21 singles to make it either to number one on the CanCon charts or highest-charting Canadian song on the RPM 100 chart, I must now bid adieu to the Guess Who. This is the last Guess Who song that I will have cause to talk about, though of course I'll still be talking about Burton and Randy. Very, very soon in fact.

    Despite its subject matter being a North American phenomenon, "Clap For the Wolfman" came out in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, the USA and Venezuela. Many a picture sleeve to be enjoyed, including Mexico, where "Aplaudan Al Hombre Loco" came out with an image of Troiano on its sleeve. Spain and Portugal as well.

    FRANCE:

    [​IMG]

    GERMANY:

    [​IMG]

    MEXICO:

    [​IMG]

    THE NETHERLANDS:

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    PORTUGAL:

    [​IMG]

    SPAIN:

    [​IMG]

    THE NETHERLANDS (1980 REISSUE):

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    Amesbury went on to produce a record that made #1 on the British charts in 1976, that has universally been condemned on all fronts, as seen on:
    Every #1 UK Single of the 1970's Discussion Thread (REVISITED)
     
  21. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    The U.S. single (via Hollywood pressing):
    [​IMG]

    At the point this was released, Wolfman Jack called New York station WNBC 66 AM his home. (WNBC's owner, NBC, was at the time itself owned by RCA, and for a time in the late 1960's the records division was even administered as a division of NBC within the RCA corporate structure.) He arrived there in a blaze of publicity in August 1973, paid handsomely to bring his schtick to The Big Apple; then, his publicist put a cardboard tombstone in front of ABC's then-offices of 1330 Avenue of the Americas with the message, "Cousin Brucie - Your Days Are Numbered," and that the Wolfman would "bury" him in the ratings. Alas, Bruce Morrow's days at his then-home, WABC Musicradio 77, would indeed be numbered, but not because of Wolfman Jack (WNBC was by all accounts an also-ran station, ratings-wise, at the time, while WABC shared the top spot with all-purpose WOR 710 from ratings book to ratings book); it was felt among WABC management by 1974 that Brucie was operating on autopilot, hardly involved in the show at all other than his on-air schtick; and it was felt on all parties that it was best he leave, which he did in summer 1974, after a 13-year run at "77." Around that same time, Wolfman Jack left WNBC. And who was his replacement at that station? Why, none other than Cousin Brucie, who would remain there until the "Massacre of 1977."

    No doubt while the Wolfman was still at WNBC, this song was high up on their playlist. I seem to remember hearing an aircheck where this played on the AM drive show Imus In The Morning.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021 at 10:18 AM
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  22. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    Which was quoting a 50s hit "The Letter” by the Medallions from 1954.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021 at 10:26 AM
  23. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    And Wolfman apparently showed up for the recording plastered. He manages to throw out enough bon mots to fill the quota but you can tell he's drunk at points.
    Great record!
     
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  24. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    One key reason why he left WNBC and moved back West was to tour with The Guess Who over "Clap For The Wolfman."

    Wolfman Jack also had something of a recording career, putting out an album on RCA's Wooden Nickel subsidiary in 1972.
     
  25. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    The back cover of Road Food says, "Wolfman Jack appears on 'Clap for the Wolfman' Courtesy of Wooden Nickel Recordings, Inc.", so he was still under contract to them in 1974 at least. The other Canadian Wolfman Jack novelty record, which came out in 1975 (and we'll get to in due time, unfortunately), has no such acknowledgement, for what it's worth. And Wolfman Jack put out an album on Columbia in 1975, according to discogs.

    Are these albums worth hearing? I can't imagine they would be.
     

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